DEN HAAG (PDC) -
From March 31st to April 3rd 2011 - Lucie Spanihelova - a current researcher at the Montesquieu Institute participated in the annual Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) conference in Chicago. Her research revolves around the general explanations of compliance with the demands of international actors.
The main portion of her research specifically examines the connection between the public as well as domestic interests and the choices of national governments when it comes to their decisions to comply with the demands of international institutions.
The paper presented at the annual MPSA conference showed, for example, that governments that receive large fiscal transfers from the EU, in fact, have, on average, stronger incentives to comply with transposition demands of EU directives regardless of the public's sentiment on the EU. Thus, this finding reveals a concerning pattern which shows that governments that benefit strongly from their membership in the EU, are willing to disregard the preferences of the public in order to avoid putting those benefits at risk.
However, the research also indicates that the same governments are much less willing to comply when citizens pay closer attention to EU affairs. In general this research provides a first-cut evidence that citizens exert much more effective control over national government's decisions with regards to the EU policies when they pay close attention to EU issues.
This paper belongs to a series of research projects Lucie Spanihelova currently conducts at the MI investigating the importance of the attention and preferences among the public towards the EU and international affairs.